Talk:History of the Macedonian language

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Old version[edit]

The Macedonian standard language can be said to have been born in August 1944, when a provisional government run by the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) declared the Macedonian republic. This date is not precise as prior work had been done, however as Friedman states, "it nonetheless functions as the symbolic act demarcating the beginning of the period in which efforts received the official sanction that enabled standardization to reach the stage of implementation" [1].

It should be noted however that work had been done on standardising the Macedonian language prior to 1944.

Some of the varieties of Old Church Slavonic, the one of the Ohrid Literary School (one of the literary schools of the First Bulgarian Empire) from the 10th century on and written primarily in Glagolitic, as well as the language used by Saints Cyril and Methodius to translate the Bible from Greek in the 9th century AD (which was primarily based on the Slavic dialect of Thessaloniki/Solun) [2], are sometimes regarded as based on Macedonian local dialects due to the variety reflecting the local Slavic vernacular of the region.

There were three schools of Macedonian linguists in the recent history of Slavic Macedonia. The first one had Bulgarian consciousness and was called from some authors the "Bulgarophiles". It tried to reach the linguistic and political unity with Bulgaria. This group tried, in the 19th century, accompanied by pan-Slavic nationalism, to make the first attempt to resolve the question of linguistic norms in what they considered the Bulgarian-Macedonian diasystem. Bulgarophile writers from Macedonia (Kuzman Šapkarev, Miladinov Brothers, Grigor Prlichev) advocated a common Bulgarian language based on the Slavic dialects in Macedonia or on a compromise between the upper-Bulgarian (northeastern Bulgarian) and the western Macedonian dialects, which they considered as Bulgarian. Writers from northern Bulgaria, however, insisted on the adoption of the northeastern Bulgarian dialect only. The establishment of an autonomous Bulgarian principality north of the Stara Planina led eventually to the adoption of the Eastern literary variant; still, even after the codification of the Bulgarian language in 1899 [3], the preservation of the letters ѣ and ѫ with dialect-dependant double reading allowed some differences between eastern Bulgarian and western Bulgarian and Macedonian dialects within the codified norm.

At the same time, the Serbian scholars and a part of intellectuals from Macedonia, called the "Serbophiles", considered the Macedonian language merely a southernmost dialect of Serbian language, thus forcing this idea that become official in Vardar Macedonia after the Balkan Wars and World War I. Between the world wars in Serbia Macedonian dialects was treated as a Serbian dialects. Literary Serbo-Croatian was the language of education, media, and public life; even so Macedonian literature was tolerated as a local dialectal folkloristic form. The "Serbophile" idea was later abandoned in favour of the formation of separate Macedonian language in 1944, when the third group of linguists, led by Blaže Koneski, codified the Macedonian literary language.

The idea of the separate Macedonian language, which is neither Bulgarian nor Serbian in essence, is called "Macedonism", and it has been official. Nowadays, Macedonian shares similar features both with Serbian (lexical fund, slang, script, present tense forms, accentuation position - through unrelated processes, stress in both languages has generally come to be placed closer to the beginning of the word than in their eastern neighbour - etc.) and Bulgarian (virtually complete lack of cases, definite article, formation of future tense, non-melodical accent etc.), but also possesses some unique features.

Summary of the history of Macedonian language according to Victor Friedman [4]
Period Summary
1794-1840 The period of the first published texts employing Macedonian dialects. Main figures: Hadzi Daniil of Moskopole, Joakim Krckovski, and Kiril Pejcinovic. Main event: the awakening of a Macedonian Slavic national consciousness.The opposition Turk/giaour is superceded by Greek/Slav, and Slavs struggle for a literary language of their own.
1840-1870 The period of the first textbooks. Main figures: Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinov,Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov-Dzinot, Kuzman Šapkarev. Main event: the anti-Phanariot struggle. Most intellectuals favor a common Macedo-Bulgarian literary language based to a large extent on Macedonian.
1870-1913 The period of the first grammars and nationalist publications. Main figures: Gjorgi Pulevski, Krste Misirkov, Dimitrija Čupovski, Petar Pop Arsov, and other members of the VMRO. Main events: the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate, the Ilinden rebellion, and the partition of Macedonia. Macedonian nationalism is opposed to Bulgarian and Serbian interests.
1913-1944 The recognition of Macedonian literature in Serbia and Yugoslavia leading to the crystallization and ultimate establishment of the Macedonian literary language.


I replaced this with something I'd written as I think mine has more structure, although in a slightly more academic and less encyclopaedic style. I suspect that there are neutrality problems so have left the tag there for now. Feel free to merge in stuff from the removed into my version. - FrancisTyers 13:41, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


a) it might be more precise to write that misirkov was from Ayii Apostoli, near Salonica b) it think "On macedonian affairs" is a better translation of the title of Misirkovs book. best--Greece666 23:56, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Macedonian language[edit]

There was no appelation 'Macedonian language' before the 1940s. The history of that language starts in the 1940s, prior to that we have reference of Bulgarian and Old Church Slavonic. The way it is handled in this article, it would be like stating that old Germanic is English, or that French is Latin. (Presumably the author initiating this article is fluent in Bulgarian and Makedonski ;-). Politis 17:50, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

In fact, English Language, we have "English is a West Germanic language". Likewise, Makedonski is a West Bulgarian language (coming up on your screen, soon). Politis 17:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

If "Bulgarian" was a language group you'd be right, it isn't. Macedonian (Makedonski if you prefer) is a South Slavic language of the Eastern group. - Francis Tyers · 09:10, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I reverted you then merged in your good edits. - Francis Tyers · 09:11, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I take your word re:language group. However, here we are dealing with a time line. Until well into the 20th century, the Slavic dialects south of Skopje were referred to as, Bulgarian or Slavic and South Slavic. It is only linguistics that subsequently introduced the term 'language group' on a 'scientific' basis. The term Macedonian for a language came in the 1940s. That is when the history of that languge starts. Any usage of that term prior to that date is strictly misleading (and often originates from the 'nationalistic propaganda' of a country's efforts to gain status). Of course we can say that the South Slavic tree branched off into Serbian, Bulgarian and, in 1946(?) Macedonian/Makedonski. Politis 09:28, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Or Serbian, to many people the "dialects" were not dialects of Bulgarian, but dialects of Serbian. I've carefully written this article using various papers and books. In fact, in the first sentence it puts the "date of birth" of 1944. This was opposed by certain ethnic Macedonians. It is proper to speak of the various Slavic dialects of the region before this time, as these were the basis of the standard language. You will note that no-where does it describe these as the "Macedonian language" prior to the 1940s. - Francis Tyers · 10:34, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Macedonian vs. southern Slavonic[edit]

Regarding "Macedonian" versus "southern Slavonic", I am merely reporting what I read in the sources. The features of the texts are examined by modern linguists and these labels are applied. This has nothing to do with the dispute. They obviously have "southern Slavonic" features, hell "south-eastern Slavonic" features, because they are south-eastern Slavonic dialects. Before you make any further edits it would be good if you could read the sources on which the article is based, and where appropriate furnish your own reliable sources (journal articles, books from real publishers etc.) - Francis Tyers · 14:22, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

It seems that the Friedman source is selectively quoted. This, arguably, introduces the concept of a Macedonian language in the middle ages. Politis 14:32, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Other quotes from Friedman (emphasis is my own Politis 14:42, 14 November 2006 (UTC)):

Please give the full citation. - Francis Tyers · 14:46, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

"...for geographic reasons, some of the most salient features of Skopje Macedonian are shared with Serbian, During the earliest years of codification, the Pirin dialects, which are spoken for the most part in Bulgaria (but also the extreme east of the Republic of Macedonia) , also competed to some extent with the standard (Koneski 1945a).

Skopje Macedonian refers to the dialects of Macedonian spoken in and around Skopje. - Francis Tyers · 14:46, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
There is actually a paper on this that I will see if I can find. - Francis Tyers · 14:58, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Petrovska, E. (1998) "The Cultural Dialect of the Younger Generation in Skopje" International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Z.Topolinjska (ed.). Mouton de Guyter (1998), 59-73.

Well, something about it anyway. - Francis Tyers · 15:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

The Slavic environment can be understood as subdivided into three parts: Serbo–Bulgarian, Russian, and Church Slavonic.

Please give the full quote. - Francis Tyers · 14:46, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Found it.
Your quote doesn't mean much outside of the context in which it was written (the preceding pages). - Francis Tyers · 14:51, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

The Slavic environment can be understood as subdivided into three parts: Serbo–Bulgarian, Russian, and Church Slavonic. Serbian and Bulgarian are the two standard languages closest to Macedonian as well as the two ends of that section of the South Slavic dialectal continuum between which the Macedonian dialects are located.8 At the same time, they are official languages that have served at various times as instruments of cultural and political domination in Macedonia and also at times as the vehicles of the denial of Macedonian identity (see Friedman 1975). Even Friedeman/IJSL-Macedonian 6 when they functioned at their most negative, however, Serbian and Bulgarian were the languages of education for most Macedonians who were able to go to school, including those initially responsible for the implementation of the Macedonian standard (cf. Koneski 1950b)."

The three main chronological stages of the implementation of the Macedonian standard language can be defined as follows: 1) the overlap of implementation and codification/elaboration: 1945–50, 2) the primary phase of pure implementation (acceptance): 1950–53, and 3) the phase of established implementation (expansion): 1954 onward. The first and third of these stages can also be subdivided. "

Agree. He applies some typology to discuss the implementation which I'm not sure is widely accepted. - Francis Tyers · 14:46, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm, not 'widely accepted'; that can be the problem with sources and an understandable wikipedia weakness. The selection of sources can lead to the construction of invented facts, i.e. 'Macedonian phonetics' (and what not) in the middle ages. This, in turn, generates an unscholarly fait accompli whose compound effect can be to back date the existence of a language by a thousand years and more. No pasaran amigo ;-) Politis 15:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't backdate the existence of the language. Read the first paragraph. I would agree if it was based on one source, but there are several, all reliable. - Francis Tyers · 15:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
If you want the article to discuss the standardisation within the typology laid out by Haugen (1966), Neustupny (1970) and Radovanovic (1986, 1992), I would be quite happy to do it, but I'm not sure it would be of benefit to our readers. - Francis Tyers · 15:07, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Re. "Macedonian features" in sentences like the ones Politis objected to ("The earliest texts showing specifically Macedonian phonetic features are Old Church Slavonic classical texts"): There's nothing wrong with that, as far as I can see. I'm not familiar with the literature, but if I read that as a linguist somewhere, I'd find it easily understandable. It means: The earliest texts that display such phonological phenomena as are today characteristic of Macedonian, as opposed to other neighbouring varieties; marking the variety represented in these texts as the earliest distinctive unique ancestors of today's Macedonian. It's just like if a German linguist might talk of the earliest distinctive Bavarian dialectal features showing up in such-and-such a period. It says absolutely nothing about a Macedonian ethnicity at that stage, or about the name "Macedonian" being in use as a language name at that period, or about Macedonian being a "separate language" at that period. The only thing implied by the statement is that it was a distinct variety, i.e. a dialect with certain recognisable features that distinguished it from others and that were demonstrably ancestral to those of today. Fut.Perf. 15:13, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
The above interpretation by FPS makes sense - even though no one concerned mentioned ethnicity. However, the slavomacedonian (or western Bulgarian / southern Slavic) phonetics that one finds in some villages around Florina are quite different from those around Kumanovo, aso. Ergo, we cannot speak of 'specifically [Slav] Macedonian phonetics'; it seems more appropriate to refer to the language group (southern Slavonic), and if necessary, a current geographical location. Overall, the usage of the term 'Macedonian' in the article can be seen as contributing to establishing grounds for a 'Macedonian language' in the middle ages. No doubt 'Skopje Macedonian' (as Friedman says) is rooted in Slavic dialect of the region, but it needs to be unabmiguously clear (think how CBS 60 Minutes would say it) and that is probably best achieved by leaving out that term when talking before the 1940s. Politis 15:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, all the literature uses this term. The article is to my mind clear and unambiguous. If you feel a sentence is ambiguous, please paste it here so we can discuss it and possibly see about altering it. - Francis Tyers · 15:49, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

"OCS is the first standartisation of Macedonian language" is a big lie and falsification. This is why the reader is confused. OCS is the first officially written Slavic language and it is Bulgarian, Bulgarian, Bulgarian (all books and sources say so). This was the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture in 9th and 10th centuries with the biggest centers in Preslav (Bulgaria) and Ohrid (Bulgaria) which geographically are located on the opposite ends of Bulgaria. Even though, books from the two centres use exactly the same language - Bulgarian, first literary Bulgarian language, no dialects. All the books from this period talk about Bulgaria and Bulgarian, and none about Macedonia, or Macedonian.Lantonov 06:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Ha-ha, "The name used for Macedonian was языкъ блъгарьскъ or "Bulgarian language" and was used not only with regard to the contemporary Macedonian language of the copyist but also to the period of Old Church Slavonic.". Why not "язык македонски"? Those old writers were clearly pushing Bulgarian POV:). Lantonov 07:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

I don't know anything about Macedonian -- I came here because I was browsing the Good Articles page. So you can take my suggestions with a grain of salt. However:

I found the "Old Version," on this talk page, to be more accessible than the current version. Is there a reason why it was shelved? The boxed timeline of language is quite helpful, and so is the discussion of the linguistic schools.

The quote in the first paragraph by Victor Friedman is not very readable. It might be more comprehensible if it were paraphrased.

In the Second World War section, the part where it says "the details are complicated, see footnote 19" seems inadvisable. Maybe you can skip that part entirely and put the article from footnote 19 as recommended "Further Reading."

Finally, I'm curious about Macedonian -- I've heard that the Bulgarians consider the Macedonian language to be "actually just Bulgarian." You address this briefly by saying that -- if I understand you correctly -- Bulgarians considered the languages of Macedonians inside their borders to be "dialects of Bulgarian." But then I looked at the Old Church Slavonic article, since OCS was cited in this article as the first Macedonian Slavic dialect -- but that article seems to posit OCS as the predecessor language to several languages.

You don't have to answer my questions but I thought I'd just tell you how it read to me. Katsam 12:23, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

The reason why it was shelved is that it paints a simplistic picture and is completely unsourced. I've taken your advice re: "details being complicated". OCS is cited in this article as the first standardisation of a Macedonian Slavic dialect (that is a Slavic dialect spoken in Macedonia). Thanks for your feedback. - Francis Tyers · 15:39, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Some Bulgarians indeed do consider Macedonian to be "just Bulgarian", the same as some Serbs think Bosnian is "just Serbian", and some Spanish think Catalan is "just Spanish". Trudgill (1992) describes this as an "attack on language status", or "denial of autonomy, assertion of heteronomy" — he gives the Spanish/Catalan example, but the principle applies to any Ausbau minority language. - Francis Tyers · 16:23, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

"OCS is the first standartisation of Macedonian language" is a big lie and falsification. This is why the reader is confused. OCS is the first officially written Slavic language and it is Bulgarian, Bulgarian, Bulgarian (all books and sources say so). This was the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture in 9th and 10th centuries with the biggest centers in Preslav (Bulgaria) and Ohrid (Bulgaria) which geographically are located on the opposite ends of Bulgaria. Even though, books from the two centres use exactly the same language - Bulgarian, first literary Bulgarian language, no dialects. All the books from this period talk about Bulgaria and Bulgarian, and none about Macedonia, or Macedonian.Lantonov 06:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Ha-ha, "The name used for Macedonian was языкъ блъгарьскъ or "Bulgarian language" and was used not only with regard to the contemporary Macedonian language of the copyist but also to the period of Old Church Slavonic.". Why not "язык македонски"? Those old writers were clearly pushing Bulgarian POV:). Lantonov 07:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

As of 12/05/06, this article has not reached good article status yet. The most significant problems with the article:

  • The lead section seems to be one specific factoid, not a general summary per WP:LEAD. The current lead section should be folded into the article, and a new one should be written.
  • The article seems abruptly cut off. What happened to the language after WWII?

Twinxor t 14:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


Now that the bug to which the comment refers has been fixed, I have converted the references. Please check that I have properly de-duplicated as appropriate. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 11:02, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Hasn't been fixed properly, see the reference section. But I suppose it isn't that bad. - Francis Tyers · 11:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced text[edit]

Text not sourced by peer-reviewed, scholarly, reliable published Western sources will be removed. That means nothing from Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, and certainly not anything from Macedonians. - Francis Tyers · 09:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Please is it possible to expand on the above statement since, as it stands, it could possibly be interpreted as racist and purporting 'Western' superiority over 'others'. It seems to comment prejudicially against certain peoples based on their ethnicity.
There are excellent scholars in Athens, Thessaloniki, Sofia and Skopje who need no 'reliable published Western sources' peer-review. Politis 14:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Thou knowst me not well Politis :) There are undoubtably fine scholars in all the Balkan countries, their work however should not be included here, as their scholarship on issues surrounding nationality and sociolinguistics is too often clouded by their emotions and national feelings. If what you are saying is true, it should not be hard to find some Western scholars writing similarly. - Francis Tyers · 16:09, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Absolut nonsence! Macedonia (theme) in the Middle ages was in today Thrace.The creators of Macedonian language Friedman and Lunt are credible sources!Unbelivable! The Russian Academy of Science - no! Jingby 17:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Pleace read Russian Academy of Science - Институт славяноведения РАН - [5] Jingby 17:21, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Please find a 'western, peer-reviewed, scholarly published Western source' that supports the statement that 'their scholarship on issues surrounding nationality and sociolinguistics is too often clouded by their emotions and national feelings'. Otherwise, the point I made above stands and concern for such statements must remain unabated. Politis 17:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

What means Western, this issue was immediatеly deleted - THE COLLAPSE OF YUGOSLAVIA AND THE FUTURE PROSPECTS OF THE MACEDONIAN LITERARY LANGUAGE (A LATE CASE OF GLOSSOTOMY?) Otto Kronsteiner (Österreich)[6] Jingby 17:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Kronsteiner has not had his scholarship on the sociolinguistics of Macedonian published in any peer-reviewed academic journals of Sociolinguistics, Linguistics. Ergo he doesn't count (aside from the fact that his opinions are a joke). - Francis Tyers · 18:05, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The Macedonian Question - Macedonia is not Greek


Ethnic Statistic in Macedonia

90 Years Greek Ethnic Cleansing of Bulgarians in Aegean Macedonia

Crisis in Macedonia - Statement from MSI

Democracy in Yugoslavia Democracy in the Balkan mean oppression. Especially when you conquer foreign Bulgarian land and decide to keep it. 

Yes, truely this is a reliable source! Haha. - Francis Tyers · 18:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Lets count!
  1. Peer-reviewed ? No.
  2. Impartial, saying "90 Years Greek Ethnic Cleansing of Bulgarians in Aegean Macedonia" is not, No.
  3. Scholarly published? is not scholarly and not academically published in any normal sense.
  4. Clouded by nationalism and emotion? Just check out this "GREECE IS AN UNWORTHY EU MEMBER" (note the ALL CAPS). I think that shows shouting, which is a rather emotional response... Yes!
Jingiby, you know Kronsteiner had his honourary professorship removed right? [7] Wonder why... - Francis Tyers · 18:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe he withdrew from a Bulgarian University honorary professorship because if he is a proffessor at a Bulgarian University, his works will be seen as Bulgarian POV also outside Macedonia (in Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro). Lantonov 06:19, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Macedonia from SS Cyril and Methodius to Horace Lunt and Blazhe Koneshki - Dr. James F. Clarke [8]Jingby 18:35, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Do the count-down:
  1. Peer-reviewed ? No.
  2. Impartial, check out this page! ? No.
  3. Scholarly published? I wonder what the impact factor is for! :D No.
  4. Clouded by nationalism and emotion? Check this: haha MORE CAPS GUYS!!!11

Yup, Prof. James Clarke was the greatest Bulgarian Nationalist, pushing Bulgarian POV all the time, and Columbia University in New York that published his book is an undercover operation for pushing Bulgarian propaganda to the world :). Lantonov 09:28, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Protip: Try,, and maybe blackwell-synergy to check for scholarly articles. Google doesn't index them very well, so you probably won't find them by a simple search. - Francis Tyers · 18:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is one indisputedly scholarly article that I found with "Macedonian language", following the suggestion to use Mahon, M.1998., The Macedonian Question in Bulgaria, Nations and Nationalism,4(3):389-407. From the abstract: "The Bulgarian denouncement is based on the strong sense of loss of the territory, history and language which it shared with Macedonia in the past." So, we shared language, and history, and territory. Before officially proclaiming the Macedonian language in 1945 (not in 1944), it was only a Bulgarian dialect (ample literature on that). So this must be put clearly in the article, and not put misleading phrases about some Slavs in the region of Macedonia with unspecified nationality and language. All writers from 17 to first half of 20 century say that those are Bulgarians who speak Bulgarian language (although to be closer to truth, it was a dialect of Bulgarian language, not much further apart from literary language than Rhodopa, or Shop dialects of Bulgarian). Between the 2 world wars, and especially after WWII this dialect was deliberately directed towards separation from Bulgarian language by picking Serbian words and substituting Bulgarian words with dialect words wherever it was possible. The official position of Bulgaria is that there is no separate Macedonian language now. My personal opinion, however, is that the present Macedonian is linguistically different enough to be called a separate language irrespective of this that the differences have been artificially created by the pressure of political circumstances.Lantonov 07:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

For a similar, however more blatant, case of inventing a language, see Сибирская Википедия where Wiki articles are in "Siberian language" invented mostly by one man by codifying a really spoken dialect of Russian language in Siberia. Also, see the reactions of Russians, due to which the article Siberian language was deleted from Wikipedia. For Macedonian, the case is similar but not identical because it was codified by a group of people (there are documents, protocols, that describe this act of invention during which the Serbian-leaning minority won because of political circumstances of the time) rather than one man and this language was made literary for the whole Republic since 1945 with printed books appearing in it. So there is no immediate danger for banning articles on Macedonian language:) and rightly so. However, the truth must be clearly written out with full sources and avoiding phrases like: "it is said to have been", "apparently", "the said pseudo-historian", and so on. Lantonov 07:59, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

And how do you distinguish between a language and a dialect? And how do you quantify the "linguistic differences" that "allow" it to be called a "separate language"? Enquiring minds are keen to find out... - Francis Tyers · 22:28, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Those are really hard questions that probably do not have a yes or no answer. There is a large grey zone between a dialect and a language. It is hard to find objective criteria, so everyone thinks one or another is most important. For me, the most important criterium is mutual undersandability. When you fail to understand what the person in front of you talks about, then he talks in different language. Of course, if I apply ONLY this criterium, I will become a laughing stock, because it will include professional and street slang and so on, however, given a range of criteria, I would pick that one as first. Lantonov 05:35, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
There are no distinctions. Still, you draw the line at mutual intelligibility, a rather ephemeral concept, which still doesn't explain the widely considered boundaries (viz. Serbo-Croatian, Norwegian-Danish, Czech-Slovak, German, Arabic, Chinese, ...). The point being there is no real linguistic distinction between a language and a dialect, they are purely socio-political. One may have a codified dialect, a different written standard, and still not be considered a separate language, or they may have no standard and be considered so. Anyway... - Francis Tyers · 03:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Social-political contexts are much more ephemeral than mutual understandability and they may separate, as well as unify languages. Unnecessary for me to give examples everyone knows. You have a better argument for a separate Macedonian language if you argue only on a linguistic basis without including socium, politics, and history. Lantonov 07:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, this is the key to the problem: "...It was not until the second half of the 1940s, when the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito established the Socialist Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - thereby elevating the Macedonian people to the status of nation - that it seemed as if the Macedonian Question had been resolved. Under the leadership of Tito, and with the blessing of Joseph Stalin, the Yugoslav political elite aimed at solving the national problems ‘under the slogan of “Brotherhood and Unity”, and the Macedonians were recognised for the first time as a separate nation...’ (Poulton 2000: 125)

Please give full references for those which aren't currently in the article. - Francis Tyers · 03:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

And even so - "...With the founding of the Yugoslav Macedonian republic a sense of a Macedonian national identity gained strength and became systematised. Under Yugoslav rule, and mainly directed from Belgrade, a Macedonian language was codified, an autocephalous Macedonian Orthodox Church was established, and academics developed a “usable past” and projected Macedonian national feeling far into history, for example by converting the medieval Bulgarian Empire of Tsar Samuil into a Macedonian one and even claiming a link to Alexander the Great.’(Bell 1998:193) Jingby 05:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

As the article states "...With the founding of the Yugoslav Macedonian republic a Macedonian language was codified ..." (the only part really relevant to an article discussing the History of the language), the rest (Church, academics, "projecting into history", "converting ..." etc.) belong in a different article, maybe History of the Republic of Macedonia?
Macedonia was incorporated into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a constituent Socialist Republic with the Macedonian language holding official status within both the Federation and Republic. The present orthography was established in 1945 and in the next ten years the literary language was standardised.
(reproduced for your reading delight) - Francis Tyers · 03:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

"The first mention of the Bulgarian as "Bulgarian language" instead of the "Slavonic language" comes in the work of the Greek clergy of the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid in the 11th century, for example in the Greek hagiography of Saint Clement of Ohrid by Theophylact of Bulgaria in late 11th century." And this is factually wrong, as the first texts, writing aboul "Bulgarian langage" - "The Wonder of St. George" (893), "In memory of Ivan Rilski" (946), "Talk of Presviter Kuzma" (987) are from late 9th or 10th centuries, and not from 11th century as Lunt writes either ignorant or preferring to ignore the above works. The first mention of "Macedonian language" is where? Krste Misirkov? Lantonov 08:27, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're trying to get at here... - Francis Tyers · 03:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I am not trying to get at anything. In the first part of the above I correct the date of first mention of "Bulgarian" which is one century earlier, and then ask when is the first mention of "Macedonian language" which I didn't find clearly stated in the article. Lantonov 05:39, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

The article does not discuss the first mention of the Bulgarian language, surely that should be more appropriate in an article on the Bulgarian language? - Francis Tyers · 21:36, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the above. What an article on "History of Macedonian language" should give is the date of first (semi-)official mention of that ("Macedonian") language. I asked when "Macedonian language" is mentioned first, not when "Bulgarian language" is mentioned. I proposed Krste Misirkov because this is what I understood from the article. However, there may have been earlier mentions of "Macedonian language" for which I am not aware of. The article gives a dated text, in which "Bulgarian language" is supposedly mentioned for the first time, and this text is wrong because there are other sources, which mention "Bulgarian language" at least one century earlier. This is all I wanted to say. No underhand tricks like trying to deny language status, etc. I think I was very clear about my opinion on the issue of status (see above) Lantonov 05:15, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I think you are referring to this:
The earliest texts showing specifically Macedonian phonetic features are Old Church Slavonic classical texts written in Glagolitic which date from tenth to eleventh centuries (Codex Zographensis, Codex Assemanianus, Psalterium Sinaiticum). By the twelfth century the Church Slavonic Cyrillic become the main alphabet. Texts reflecting vernacular Macedonian features appear in the second half of the sixteenth century (translations of the sermons of the Greek writer Damascene Studite).[3]
What it means is that these Old Church Slavonic texts had phonetic features that we would now associate with Macedonian. Not that they were called "Macedonian" at the time. The other sentence means that more texts in Old Church Slavonic which had vernacular features that we would now associate with Macedonian appear.
This is quite clear in English, but if you would like to rephrase it, as below:
The earliest Old Church Slavonic classical texts written in Glagolitic showing phonetic features that are now associated with Macedonian date from tenth to eleventh centuries (Codex Zographensis, Codex Assemanianus, Psalterium Sinaiticum). By the twelfth century the Church Slavonic Cyrillic become the main alphabet. Texts reflecting what are now considered vernacular Macedonian features appear in the second half of the sixteenth century (translations of the sermons of the Greek writer Damascene Studite).[3]
This would be ok too. - Francis Tyers · 11:28, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


The article makes it sound like a constructed language. I suggest a slight rewrite. --AimLook 09:52, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

What would you suggest? I think the text is pretty good at the moment, and having read a number of papers on the subject, I think that it is a reasonable overview. - Francis Tyers · 11:17, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
The text is pretty good. My only problem is with the very first part of the article:
The standard Macedonian language can be said to have been born in August 1944...

The underlined section makes it sound infant-like, which I guess it was in a way. But it doesn't sound encyclopedic enough to me, and is lacking that linguistic feel I've come to expect from Wikipedia articles on languages. --AimLook 10:50, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I fail to see the problem. There is an explanation just bellow:
It should be noted however that at least some work has been recorded as being done on standardising the Macedonian language prior to 1944. This date is not precise, however as Friedman states it is a symbolic act which shows the beginning of the period in which the standard was able to be implemented.

It sounds quite encyclopedic I should say. --Laveol T 10:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

OK. --AimLook 12:36, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Serbisation of language[edit]

The following short paper gives a good overview of the artificial changes introduced in the Bulgarian dialect to make it 'Macedonian language'. Lantonov 08:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

MACEDONIAN REVIEW volume XIV, 1991, № 1


Kosta Tsurnoushanov

This part, above all, indicates the ideology ol the Serbianization of Macedonia, expressed in Serbia's propaganda shortly after the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. Seeing their failure in the direct persuasion and bribing of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia that allegedly it was by nationality old Serbian, the propaganda authorities concocted the idea of a separate Macedonian nationality to oppose to the Bulgarian. The chief ideologist to emerge was the Serbian politician, Stojan Novakovic, who defined the role of Macedonianism as an ally which would stand up firm against the Bulgarian national spirit and would ensure the breaking away of the Macedonian Slavs from it. In this way its Serbinization would be facilitated in accordance with a special plan, introducing ever more elements from the Serbian language in the Macedonian vernacular and eliminating the Bulgarians ones. It turned out, however, that the attempts of the Serbian agents in this direction suffered complete failure owing to the insusceptibility of the Bulgarians in Macedonia to the idea imposed on them. It was only after the end of the First World War that the Serbian socialists, now turned into communists, again resorted to this idea of a separate Macedonian nation in compliance with their party objectives. In the early 30s of this century they succeeded with the help of the Comintern in imposing it as an official stand of the communist movement. After its victory in Yugoslavia at the end of the Second World War, Titoism applied it in practice in Vardar Macedonia by the force of arms, persecuting all Bulgarian resistance. The principal means after that was the Serbianization of the officially introduced vernacular as literary. It proceeded in accordance with the plan drawn up by Novakovic as follows:

I. In the sphere of the alphabet and phonetics: The Serbian alphabet was imposed with the change of two letters only: instead of Ћ and Ђ were introduced Ќ and Ѓ. At the same time the Bulgarian letter Ъ - most necessary for all Macedonian dialects - was abolished and replaced by the Serbian P (sonant r) or by an apostrophe (’): дрво, грк instead of дърво, гърк; с’лза instead of сълза.

II. In the sphere of the morphology and vocabulary: (1) introduction of a large number of Serbian words, for instance: мора instead of треба; пегла instead of утия; (2) formation of Serbianisms by either adding a Bulgarian ending to a Serbian word: правац — правец, почетак - почеток or by changing the basic vowel: коначно - конечно; (3) avoidance of the Bulgarian old suffixes -АЩ, -ЕЩ for the present active participle and its replacement by the Serbian ЧКИ: решаващ - решавачки, or of -ИМ, -УЕМ for the present passive


participle: неугасим — неугасив, неописуем — неопислив; (4) avoidance of the suffix -ТЕЛ in agentive nouns and its replacement by the Serbian -АЧ: завоевател - завоювач (5) use of foreign words in a Serbian variant: станция - станица, огромно – енормно; (6) Serbian forms of the names of lands: Швеция - Шведска, Швейцария - Швейцарска, Англия — Енгелеска; Виктор Юго - Виктор Иго, Анри Барбюс - Анри Барбис; (7) avoidance of popular words and their replacement by Serbian ones: раганье - порогяй, паметник - споменик, статуя - кип, бояджия - молер.

III. In the sphere of the Syntax: (1) avoidance of the conjunction БЕЗ ДА and its replacement by the Serbian А ДА: Никога не работи, без да поиска награда - Никога не работи, а да не посака награда; (2) in the use of verbs like управувам , дирижирам, командувам etc. which in the Serbian language require an indirect object in the instrumental case, the Macedonian authors use the preposition СО by which the instrumental case is translated without this being necessary: „командува со дивизия” instead of “командува дивизия”; „дирижира со оркестър” instead of „дирижира оркестър”; use of the preposition СО instead of НА (the Serbian way): “Во Египет мажите се женат со 18 години, а жените - со 16” respectively на 18, на 16, etc.

Macedonian language was codified in 1944[edit]

The Macedonian language was codified in 1944, not created, please understand the difference between the two. Maktruth (talk) 05:29, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure a past version had "codified" (maybe it was vandalised? maybe it was a different but related article altogether?). Assume good faith and/or be less paranoid. 3rdAlcove (talk) 08:09, 2 May 2008 (UTC)


I removed the following paragraphs because they do not refer to the language, but to the history of the Macedonians and Macedonia.

The Eastern Orthodox Church, to which the majority of Christian Slavs are members, was and is still headed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Patriarchate embarked[weasel words] on a policy of Hellenisation.[citation needed] In the view of[weasel words] the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Christian Slavs were Greek, and so should speak Greek.[citation needed] During the renaissance of South Slavic nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Bulgarians of Macedonia and Bulgaria fought against this policy. This fight culminated in the formation of theBulgarian Exarchate, an autonomous religious authority for Bulgarians, in 1870.[citation needed]

The East Bulgarians intended[weasel words] for the standard language of the Orthodox Slavs to be Bulgarian based on the eastern variety spoken in Thraco-Moesian, the Macedonian Bulgarians[who?] rejected this in favour of a standard Bulgarian language,[verification needed] but significantly influenced by the more western dialects of Macedonia.[dubious ][1]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference friedman1985 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Also I replaced the last section, which was again about the history of Macedonia, instead about the history of the language.--MacedonianBoy (talk) 10:32, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I have reverted the text back to the last stable version before Macedonian Boy began making changes. Some of the changes that I have reverted were realistic, but they were too mixed with some controversial changes to find them out. Please, lets get a consensus on the talk-page and then make them again. Thank you. Jingiby (talk) 05:19, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 14:52, 26 June 2013 (UTC)